Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sweets to Hang and Sweets to Eat

I'm not a very crafty mom, I decided. I can never think of many easy projects for the girls to do, and I hate the mess it makes. And then what do you do with all of their projects? There's only so much space to hang things. I prefer to let them help me in the kitchen and make something that won't be hanging around, cluttering the house for the next six months.

But... they love glue. And glitter. And pompoms. And creating stuff out of paper. Since Valentine's Day is coming up, I thought I'd help them make some decorations. (Crafts that serve a purpose and won't be hanging around forever. Right up my alley.)


I didn't want to go out and buy a bunch of stuff (another peeve of mine... I have no place to store craft supplies), so I used what I had. I cut hearts for them out of white paper and let them glitter them up.


This was only the beginning. We had glitter ALL over the table, their hands, and the floor. And the couch.


 After they made the hearts sparkly, I used a round cutter and cut some circles out of scrapbook paper (I do like scrapbook paper, even though I'd rather have a cavity drilled than do another scrapbook), attached the sparkly hearts with a gold brad, then tied them to a long piece of kitchen twine with some pink ribbon.


Eh. Not bad. (It's a lot cuter in person.) The girls loved it.

Another project I did last week was a step-by-step tutorial for the Tasty Kitchen Blog. I made my grandma's pineapple pie, which I hadn't had in a LONG time. I've been craving it since Thanksgiving. The girls were good sports and kept their fingers out while I was taking photos. They even held up some props for me.


Then we had pie.


Ivy really liked the meringue.


Like, a lot. Then she at the crust. And left about half the filling on her plate. Silly girl.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Scene: Trying to get the girls to put their shoes on so we can go get the mail. (It's around the corner now instead of shoved right through my front door. Bummer.)

Me: Sophie what shoes do you want to wear? Kitty boots?

Sophie: No!

Me: The red shoes?

Sophie: No!... (in a quieter voice) Say, "sparkly".

Me: Do you want your sparkly shoes?

Sophie: No, red shoes.

Red shoes it is.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Tour


It's the moment you've all been waiting for, I'm sure. (Except for my friends back on Thornally... I know you'll be crazed with jealousy. I totally understand. I was there for 3 1/2 years.)

Before I show you the tour, I wanted to tell you a few things:

1. This house really isn't that big. It's only a 2-bed, 2-bath, 1200 sqf place that we're renting until we're comfortable buying a house down here. The house is owned by a couple in Colorado who used the place as an executive rental -- meaning, people from their company would come out and stay here while they were on business. I don't think this house has ever been lived in full-time, so that's why it looks brand-spanking new even though it's 5 years old. It's also fully furnished. And by fully I mean not only furniture and appliances, but curtains, decor, fully-stocked kitchen (well, almost... I brought in a lot of my own stuff, but that's because I'm nuts), sheets on the beds, towels in the closet, etc. They were even nice enough to leave us a couple bottles of wine and some limoncello (lemon liquor). (I'm still trying to figure out what to do with them.)

2. Although it was furnished, we still brought in our couch and dining set because we liked them better. (And it's the first time we've ever been able to walk all the way around the table. AND walk all the way around it with the leaf in!) So there's a mix of stuff that's ours and theirs.

3. I wanted to show you this awful picture, too. That's what it looks like when you have two toddlers and you don't move your couch for more than three years. . . 


P.S. I'm wearing shorts because I'm doing laundry and all my pants are dirty.

Today we got our drivers licenses in the mail. It's the first time either of us has had a license in a state other than where we first got our licenses. We've got Nevada plates on our car now and will probably change our cell numbers over, too.

(I still wonder what the DMV thought when we went in... Our previous address was in CA, our cars were registered in ID, neither of our licenses had our home addresses on them, and our phone numbers were still UT numbers.)

We're settling in nicely, though. We love the area we're in, and Steve is really enjoying his job. So far so good . . .


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Traveling Circus

I think Ivy would fit right in with a traveling circus. She's petite, yet fearless, which would make her the perfect candidate for a trapeze artist. She'd probably fit in a cannon, too, if someone wanted to blow her out of one. Her most impressive talent right now is probably her ability as a contortionist. Wanna see?


Here we have an innocent-looking box. (It happens to be the trunk the girls' dress up clothes came in.)


Upon closer inspection there seems to be fingertips poking out. Perhaps the box isn't empty?


We'll have my lovely assistant, Steve, open the box to reveal its contents.


It's Ivy! The Famous Contortionist Toddler!


(No children were harmed in this amazing feat of flexibility.)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Our Last Weeks in Cali Part 3: This and That

We finally visited the Japanese gardens in Hayward, where I took some family picture for some friends. Gorgeous! I wish we'd have found them sooner.

K, story time. Up until a few months ago Sophie would rarely let me do her hair. I tried my hardest, but it was something that I felt wasn't worth making both of us upset. (I only put my foot down when we went to church.) Thus, she walked around looking like a frizzy-headed orphan. Then one rare day when she actually let me do her hair (something simple like a headband... I really don't remember what it was), I told her that [insert Disney princess] had hair like that, too. Since then, she insists on having her hair done every day like Belle (half up with a messy bun thing) or Cinderella (a bun with a headband) or Snow White (just a headband). . . and on and on -- you get the drift.

12 - December25

Lately she's not only telling me she wants a certain princess's hair, but she narrows it down to what scene in the movie (because their hairstyles change, you know). She'll ask for, "hair like Belle when she's reading a book at the beginning" or "hair like Tiana when she goes in the kitchen". I'm not too familiar with Princess Tiana's (Princess and the Frog) hairstyles because I've never seen the movie all the way through. I guess she has one braid down the back and a little tendril by her face. (See photos above.) Now she wants to grow her hair out like Rapunzel. That might take a long time because I think her hair is getting curlier as it grows.

The only problem I have now is when Ivy asks for "Belle hair", too.


I know this is a little random, but look at those koi fish up there. They were swimming around in the pond at the gardens. Does that middle one look a little pudgy to you? It kind of sat at the bottom and tried to swim without much luck. One lady said, "Oh, it's pregnant! It must be!" Another lady said, "I don't think it's pregnant. I think there's something wrong with it. It just doesn't look natural."


Doesn't Ivy's hair remind you of David Spade's hair on Joe Dirt? It was the wind. Really, it was.

12 - December24-1

One day right before we moved Sophie saw a sponge on the counter. She grabs it and says to me, "Mommy, can you get the big red bowl and put water and lots of bubbles in it? I want to clean something."

So I let her. True story.


These strapping young men are some friends of ours. We went to a little New Year's shin dig at some friends' house right before we left.


Looking a little sleepy. . . (We were home by 10. Our kids wouldn't have made it to midnight.)


Got in some girl time. (I won't dwell on this one or I might cry. I need some friends.)


The four amigos will have to postpone play dates for a while. Steve was nice enough to watch all four of these rascals for a couple of hours while I took my BFF out for mani-pedis for her birthday. When I got home, the kids were sitting on the couch like that just beginning a movie and all the toys were picked up off the floor. What a rockstar babysitter.


We spent an evening with our friends Ken and Steve, who brought over so many goodies. A rice pudding-custard thingy and um... homemade peppermint marshmallows?! And the most amazing jam. I'm not a big jam person (just ask my grandma who's been trying to get me to eat jam for the last decade). And I don't even like peaches, but they made this peach passionfruit jam that's incredible. I keep making more bread just so I have something to put it on. Thanks guys! We'll miss you!


Our last evening there (literally. . . we left the next day) the Chiltons took us out for dinner. Not just any dinner, but probably the best meal I've ever had in my life.

(Psst... I could find you a house. Really. Like, down the street from us. I swear every other house is for sale here. Just let me know, K?)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Our Last Weeks in Cali Part 2: Christmas


My favorite things about this picture:
1. Her ensemble. Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a princess crown, a Halloween shirt, and a mermaid tail.
2. The purple tree. We didn't have room for our big tree, so we let the girls pick one out at Big Lots. Thus, we ended up with a purple tree.

12 - December18

12 - December19

Ivy's always up for a kiss. Always.

SLZ Santa

Every year our ward in California has a dinner in December where Santa shows up. The pic on the right is of Sophie. It's amazing how much she looks like Ivy in the other picture.


This year no one cried. I have to admit I was slightly disappointed. Drama makes better photos. Ivy was so tired. She probably wouldn't have cared whose lap she sat on.

12 - December14
We spent Christmas Eve and Day at the Perrys in Sacramento. Grandpa was teaching the girls how to make pigs in a blanket.

12 - December15

12 - December16

Grandma got the girls matching red skirts and we tried to get a pic of them.

12 - December20

Then we had to have one of the grandkids in front of the tree. Layla wasn't a happy camper.

12 - December17

The after-photo-shoot dancing.


Then a special visitor came. Grandpa Perry makes a pretty slick Santa.


The kids didn't recognize him. It was perfect.


I don't remember the last time I sat on Santa's lap.

12 - December21

Then we had to have ANOTHER one of the grandkids with Santa. Layla flipped out. She really didn't like Santa, which is funny, because she adores Steve's dad. We kept waiting for her to figure out who he was, but she never did.


Here are all the Perrys with Santa. It's a strange photo. Why the weird look on my face? I was watching Steve's cousin with my camera. I don't have live view, which means you have to put your eye on the camera itself to get the shot set up (old school, I know). She never did that. She just held the camera out in front of her, took a photo, saw it pop up on the screen, move it to the right/left, took another shot, readjusted, and so on -- never seeing what she was taking a picture of before she hit the shutter button. It was weird.

12 - December22

Christmas morning didn't disappoint. The girls got a trunk full of dress-up clothes, which they have worn almost every day since Christmas. (See this post - that was this afternoon.)

12 - December23

The guys got matching shirts and headlamps. I have to admit, I chuckled a little at the headlamps thinking, "such a guy thing". But I wore it the other night while I was looking for something packed away in the garage. It's super cool.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Our Last Weeks in Cali Part 1: Pre-Christmas

The next three posts are going to be photo dumps, for lack of a better word. Again, not a lot of commentary or detail. Just getting some photos posted.

12 - December12
These were taken in an Indian restaurant, in Lancaster, CA (the first stop on our roadtrip in November). They were from our little camera and missed getting posted. 
Photo credits go to Sophie Perry Photography.

12 - December13
These were at Red Robin in Idaho Falls. My parents took us all out to lunch on Ivy's birthday.
Take note of Sophie's sleepy eyes . . . 

Just a few minutes later in the car.

12 - December6
These were taken back in our home in California. The girls are totally cool with getting up on Steve's table and having him "check them out". That has only been in the last few months, though. Before that, he couldn't lay a finger on them without rigorous protest.

12 - December7
We hung out a lot those last few weeks in California. Eating. . .

ripping out all of the wipes, then folding them into a nice little pile of squares. . .

12 - December11
playing with mom's earrings, and (still) dressing up as mermaids. Photo credits again go to Sophie.

12 - December10
The girls played in the leaves for a bit. I loved seeing those leaves on our lawn every fall. They're beautiful. (And I didn't have to rake them. :))

Notice Sophie's very practical choice in footwear -- a rain boot and a flip flop. You never know what you'll run into in the Bay Area.

12 - December8
The girls were invited to a princess-themed birthday party and since we didn't have any dress-up clothes at that point, we did the best we could do. It's awfully hard to be social when you're hounded around by paparazzi all the time.

12 - December9
It never gets easier when you're older.

Uh . . . I'm not sure what this was about.